I love you.
You’re important in my life.
I’m proud of you.
I miss you.
Can I help in some way?
I appreciate what you did.
I attended a funeral a few months ago and as I didn’t know the deceased very well, I was able to be there in very much an observer and supportive role alongside my mother. The man being buried had lived a long life – he was 87 years old. Fortunately, my mother was in regular contact with him and they had a strong, loving relationship as brother and sister. They spoke regularly on the phone and knew how well each was loved by the other.
Not everyone present at the graveside had the same relationship with him however and like most large families, there had been arguments and fallouts over the years. Some there hadn’t spoken to him for many, many years. Some there weren’t speaking to each other, despite their close proximity at the graveside. It was sad to see and understandable too. People fall out. Friends become strangers. Family connections become tenuous and fragile when rifts persist.
So I stood and watched people who had once loved and laughed together do their best to avoid eye contact and remain civil and I was sad. There was no judgement – I can’t possibly know the real stories and reasons behind the disconnect. It’s none of my business – other than to serve as a reminder of the need to stay connected even when we’re mad at each other. And that can be hard to do.
Sometimes, words just won’t come. Sometimes they are drowned by the pain and the hurt. Sometimes the hurt feels too big, too raw, too painful to do anything other than retreat and avoid eye contact. And that hurts…everyone.
Today, perhaps all that’s possible is a reaching out – to say the things we hope we never:
“Wish we had said but didn’t get the chance”
Note to Self: Say the things I mean to say and sometimes don’t. xx